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Hall of Fame to honor Sather, Hayden

| March 16, 2006 11:00 PM

A former Libby High School teacher and a retired Libby mill worker will be inducted in the LHS Academic Hall of Fame on Monday, April 3.

The induction ceremony will be conducted in conjunction with the installation of members of the Libby chapter of National Honor Society at 7 p.m. at Ralph Tate Memorial Gymnasium. Academic Hall of Fame inductees will be Marv Sather and Don Hayden.

Sather was born in Kalispell but three years later moved to Libby with his family when his father got a job with the J. Neils Lumber Company. He recalls a typical Libby childhood with such family activities as camping, hiking, picking huckleberries, swimming, fishing and hunting. He was involved with the Methodist Youth Fellowship, and such school activities as music, drama, baseball, basketball, football and track.

His primary focus in school was on academics and graduated third in his class from Libby High School in 1963.

Sather attended Whitworth College in Spokane and graduated cum laude in 1967 with a degree in English and a minor in education.

Sather began his teaching career at Marysville, Wash., where he taught English for two years. He received a graduate assistantship at Wisconsin State University at LaCrosse and graduated in 1970 with a master's degree in Teaching of English. He returned to Marysville and taught for one more year before a family decision was made to return to Montana.

"Fortunately for me, I was hired in 1971 to teach English at Libby high School," Sather said. "I found myself not only reunited with my family but also with a supportive community and with an outstanding staff."

He taught at LHS for 22 years holding different positions in school and community: Department chair, assistant principal, adult education supervisor, newspaper and annual adviser, track coach, football coach, basketball coach, baseball coach, president of the Libby Education Association, member of the executive board of the Montana Education Association, vice chairman of the Lincoln County Democratic Party, City of Libby Study Commission and numerous

committee postions within the Libby United Methodist Church.

Twice during those years, the LHS students dedicated the yearbook to him and numerous times selected him as graduation speaker.

"After numerous personal changes in my life, I moved from Libby to the Spokane area when I got a job teaching English at Riverside High School," he said.

At Riverside, Sather institute programs that included college credit in the classroom, a senior portfolio project which served as a model for new graduation requirements in the State of Washington, and a school-to-work program that is still in use today. At Riverside he coached basketball and baseball, and served as adviser for the high school newspaper and annual.

In his final year, Sather served as curriculum director for the school district. In 2000, he was selected, out of 65,000 teachers statewide, as the Teacher of the Year.

"During that year, I traveled the country, got to meet President Clinton in the Oval Office, attended International Space Camp and spoke a numerous conferences and meetings.

In 2004, after 37 years as an educator, Sather and his wife decided it was time for him to retire. He has done some work as an adjunct professor at Eastern Washington University where he helped supervise student teachers.

"Right now, my life is in a transition period, but I am enjoying the opportunity to spend much more time with family and friends," he said. "I also finally have some time to travel, to do home chores and to read and to write."

Don Hayden has a well-traveled resume but has remained a Libby resident for most of his life.

He served a class officer for the four years he attended Libby High School and belonged to the Fireman's Club and the L Club. He lettered in basketball and track, served as the captain of the track team, participated in the senior class play and served a co-business manager of the school annual. Also, he was active in the Methodist Church Junior League. He graduate from LHS in 1938.

Hayden recalls that some of the boys from the Class of '38 retrieved an anchor from the river steamer J.D. Ferrell out of the Kootenai River above Jennings. It was placed in Dexter Park and then moved to the visitor's center at Libby Dam.

In September 1938 Hayden became a member of the Civilian Conservation Corps, Company 952 and 956, serving in Columbia Falls and the Schaffer Ranger Station. He was discharged from the CCC in April 1940 and spent the summer working as a Forest Service lookout.

In spring 1943, he was drafted into the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He returned from the Philippine Islands in September 1946 as a 1st sergeant.

From 1947 to 1951, Hayden worked for the J. Neils Lumber Company while serving as a member of the reserve unit in Libby. In 1951 he was recalled to active duty during the Korean War. He was promoted to master sergeant at Fort Lewis, Wash. He was ordered to Fort Ord, Calif., where he spent 25 days forming an advanced cadre to reopen Camp Roberts, Calif., which had been closed since the end of WW II. Hayden acted as the commander of the camp until the major general arrived.

In 1953, Hayden returned to Libby and went to work at the Libby Mill spending 20 years in the box factory and 20 1/2 years in the stractan plant. During his last 10 years at the mill, Hayden was foreman of the plant. He retired after 40 1/2 years of employment.

On Aug. 12, 1956, Hayden had married Marion E. Lyman. they had two daughters, Dawn and Rhea. Both girls graduated from LHS: Dawn in 1976 and Rhea in 1980.

Over the years, Hayden has been a member of the Masonic Lodge for 56 years serving as Master three times. He is a 50-year member of the Scottish Rites Masons, a 45-year member of the Shriners, where he served three times as president. He is a member of the Pioneer Society and served as president and on the board of directors. He was elected to terms on the Libby City Council, is a life-time member of the VFW, has been an independent Watkins distributor for 24 and counting, worked for 15 years in the construction business — 1954 to 1970 with Shepherd & Hayden Construction Co. and he assisted with establishing the CCC display at the Libby Heritage Museum.